Wheedle returns to help locals take winter by storm

Autumn has already begun in Seattle, but it doesn't feel like it.

The city has experienced 93 consecutive days with temperatures at 70 degrees or higher. It's also been nearly 80 days without any measurable rain - just three-hundredths of an inch. A new all-time record. But, Ted Buehner from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Seattle, says that all about to change.

"We're going to turn the corner dramatically," he said. "It's going to kick off this weekend with an active storm pattern that's sure to stick with us through fall."

This week, Buehner and other business and governmental partners are urging residents to get prepared for weather and other natural disasters with Take Winter By Storm. The regional campaign helps citizens get prepared before bad weather or other natural disasters strike. The campaign offers tips for creating emergency preparedness kits, evacuation plans for families, and what to do in the event of a natural disaster.

To help spread its message, the Take Winter By Storm team unveiled its newest mascot - Wheedle (from the Needle). The loveable, large, round, furry creature and former sports mascot donned a personal preparedness kit to encourage families to get prepared now for winter weather.

The Take Winter By Storm campaign is a collaborative, public-private effort spanning Western Washington that includes the City of Seattle, King County, Puget Sound Energy, State Farm, NOAA's National Weather Service, American Red Cross and Bartell Drugs. These organizations have joined forces in the major multi-media public awareness campaign to raise community awareness of hazardous weather and encourage behaviors that help protect lives and property.

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